Hank Wilson, queer activist, has died



By Tim Redmond

Hank Wilson, longtim e queer activist and overall wondeful guy, died yesterday of lung cancer. There's a memorial for him tonight (Monday, Nov. 10) at 18th and Castro starting at 6 pm.

I always liked Hank; he was so upbeat, so full of energy.

A lot of people may not remember, but Hank was was also the one who started the amazing Tom Ammiano mayoral write-in campaign in 1999, when Ammiano agreed at the last minute to take on Mayor Willie Brown. Hank was the one standing in the Castro -- all alone, at first -- with the posterboard getting signatures; he was the one who really convinced Ammiano to run. I never forget him calling me the day Tom agreed to be a candidate and saying, with his usual excitement: "It's real, it's real, it's going to happen."

And that campaign -- and the activists it brought out and the movement it helped spark -- was as the heart of many of the progressive victories we've won since then.

"It's a cliche, but with him they broke the mold," Amminano just told me. "He was really one of a kind."

We'll all miss him.